Decatur considering moratoriums on demolitions, tree removals - KMSP-TV

Decatur considering moratoriums on demolitions, tree removals

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DECATUR, Ga. -

Residents in Decatur plan to weigh in on two hot button issues on Monday. One is tearing down smaller, older homes to make way for bigger, newer houses, known as McMansions. Also at issue is the removal of large trees to make way for the construction.

With the rebounding housing market, there's no shortage of construction underway in Decatur. But City Manager Peggy Merriss said that not everyone agrees that the growth is good for a city that only spans 4.2 square miles. Merriss said that some homeowners are complaining that larger homes diminish the city's small town character.

Commissioners could vote on Monday to impose a 90-day moratorium infill housing that results from the demolition of more than 50 percent of an existing home.

"I totally understand both sides and I think the right answer is somewhere in the middle and the community will help the city commission define what that is," Merriss said.

While some folks are talking about the size of houses going up, others are talking about the number of trees coming down. City commissioners are also considering a moratorium on the removal of trees with trunks that are 12 inches or larger.

"There should be some kind of rule in place where they have to think twice about it," said Emily Jobe. "Put more thought into it before you go and cut the trees down first."

If approved, officials said they'll use the 90-day moratoriums to evaluate the issues.

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